News: Former Bemidji State Hockey Player Completes Navy Tour in Northern Japan
NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – A former Bemidji State hockey player is departing Japan after completing a three-year tour at U.S. Naval Air Facility.
Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Daniel Kimball spent the past three years serving as the Navy Security Forces Leading Chief Petty Officer, where more than 80 active and reservist sailors and 21 civilian Japanese guards worked for him.
“I always say I don’t have people ‘work for me,” my people ‘work with me,'” he said. I’m proud of what we accomplished together up here in Misawa and I think I’m leaving the security department in good hands with some really capable sailors I’ve helped train.”
During his tour of duty at NAF Misawa, Kimball served various roles including Security Officer, assistant security officer, senior enlisted adviser, and on many occasions as the acting command master chief. His collateral duties included antiterrorism officer, assistant security manager, equal opportunity officer, and assistant senior watch officer.
Kimball was also in Japan March 11, 2011, during the 9.0-magnitude Great East Japan Earthquake and its subsequent tsunami, which devastated Japan’s eastern seaboard. During that time, Kimball played a very large role in helping the base and local community recover in the wake of such a vicious natural disaster.
“I had never experienced an earthquake before being stationed in Japan,” said Kimball. “It was unnerving to say the least, but my family and I are now old pros with earthquakes since we’ve had more than 1,000 aftershocks since then.”
In the aftermath of the quake, Kimball immediately ensured his department established an Incident Command and Control Center to help ensure all Navy personnel were notified of the impending tsunami, which likely prevented loss of life for those operating nearby Japan’s eastern coast.
After ensuring that all personnel were safe and accounted for, Kimball tasked the Security Department with assisting with the distribution of food, water, rationed fuel, and supplies for more than 10,000 active duty, dependents, civilians and local Japanese employees.
“In the days following the quake, there was a lot of uncertainly, he said. “But I am proud of the way our Sailor reacted in the face of such an intense crisis situation. Everyone immediately pitched in and ensured security and stability on board Misawa Air Base.”
Massive earthquakes aside, Kimball said he enjoyed his time in Japan and even found time to introduce a little ‘Beaver’ hockey to the local Japanese community. During his tour, Kimball devoted more than 450 hours of his off-duty time serving as a hockey coach for U.S and Japanese youths of the Misawa Junior Ice Hockey Club.
“Hockey is no joke up here in Misawa,” said Kimball. “The season goes from August through April and requires a huge commitment from the kids playing in this league. However, they are producing some outstanding talent here and they take the game very seriously.
“My kids have excelled under the tutelage of the Japanese coaches,” he said. “And I now think they have more discipline and focus than they’ve ever had.”
Kimball, who is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, will now head back to the U.S. where he will serve at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire. He’ll serve as the security forces leading chief petty officer for the next four years.
“I am looking forward to a new challenge and working with the fine Sailors attached to the security department,” said Kimball. “The next four years will be an exciting change for my family and me.”
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.
Date Posted:06.04.2012 23:34
Location:MISAWA, AOMORI, JP
Hometown:BEMIDJI, MN, US
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